thiruchchandha viruththam – pAsuram 112 – vAlgaLAgi nALgaL

SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImadh varavara munayE nama:

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avathArikai (Introduction)

Through the two previous pAsurams, AzhwAr requested emperumAn to tolerate the faults in him and to mercifully consider his faults as good qualities, respectively. In this pAsuram, he tells his divine heart “We do not know as to when our life will end. Until then, spend your time by bowing to his feet and praise them”

vALgaLAgi nALgaL sella nOymai kunRi mUppeydhi
mALu nALadhu AdhalAl vaNangi vAzhththu en nenjamE
ALadhAgu nanmai enRu nanguNarndhadhu anRiyum
meeLvilAdha bOgam nalga vENdum mAla pAdhamE

Word-by-Word Meanings

en nenjamE – Oh my heart, which is under my control!
vALgaLAgi – like a saw which cuts longevity
nALgaL – days
sella – as they pass
nOymai – due to disease
kunRi – becoming weak
mUppu – old age
eydhi – attaining
mALum nAL adhu – the time to die has come
AdhalAl – hence
vaNangi vAzhththu – bow down to the divine feet of sarvESvaran (lord of all) and praise
adhanRiyum – not only that
ALadhAgum – that servitude
nanmai enRu – that it is purushArththam(ultimate benefit)
nangu uNarndhu – knowing well
vaNangi vAzhththu – bow down and praise
meeLvilAdha – not having to return
bOgam – the enjoyment of kainkaryam (carrying out service)
mAlapAdham – only the divine feet of sarvESvaran who is the supreme entity
nalga vENdum – should grant us

Simple Translation

Oh, my heart which is under my control! Like a saw which cuts our longevity, days keep passing. As one attains old age, becoming weak due to disease, the time to die has come. Hence, bow down to the divine feet of sarvESvaran and praise. Not only that, know well that this servitude is the ultimate benefit. Only the divine feet of sarvESvaran, the supreme entity, should grant us the enjoyment of carrying out service to them, and which is never having to return [to samsAram]

vyAkyAnam (Commentary)

vALgalAgi nALgaL sella – just like a sword (like a saw) which cuts the tree of our longevity, as days pass by. The indication is that since longevity is being slowly cut off, it will create fear in everyone. samsAris, who consider their bodies as souls, will be fearful that the body is slowly decaying. Just as it has been said in SrI vishNu thathvam 6 “vichithrA dhEha sampaththi: ISvarAya nivEdhithum l pUrvamEva kruthA brahman hastha pAdhAdhi samyuthA ll” (Oh brAhmaNa! This strange body, which is together with hands and legs, and which is like a wealth, has been created to be proffered to sarvESvaran, in the earliest time itself), those who are desirous of attaining mOksham will detest the wasting away of time since the time to reach emperumAn is getting wasted. Those who attain him for self-ingratiation will be fearful of the time getting wasted in enjoying emperumAn.

nOymai kunRi mUppeydhi – even while being in youthful days, due to strong bodily diseases and mental diseases, people would lose strength and due to that, will attain old age. In adolescent age, knowledge will not blossom. In old age, strength will be less. In youthful stage, which is in between the two, due to reasons of diseases etc, both knowledge and strength will start getting reduced. The hurdles in the person’s life are of this type.

mALum nALadhu – following this old age, death will also reach one day. Alternatively, mALum – life will end one day. nALadhu – that could be considered as the nature of longevity.

AdhalAl vaNangi vAzhththu – since longevity is uncertain, since there are many hurdles even to the life remaining, don’t be under the false impression “We will do it tomorrow”. Even when life is still there, bow down at the divine feet of emperumAn, as the advantage of having been provided with a head. Just as vishNu dharmam 1-3 says “sA jihvA yA harim sthauthi thachchiththam yath thadharpitham l thAvEva cha karau SlAgyau yau thath pUjA karau karau ll” (Only that which praises hari [emperumAn] is called as tongue; only that which has been proffered to him is heart; only those which carry out worship to him are the distinguished hands), try to praise him as the purpose of having been provided with a mouth. We could also construe this to mean that since we do not have any way other than to experience emperumAn, try to bow down to him and to praise him.

en nenjamE – Oh heart, which is under my control! The indication here is that – it is your duty to think of emperumAn; I do not have to control you for that purpose. Isn’t he thinking in his divine mind too, just as he had said in pAsuram 105 “nin pugazhkkalAl nEsamillai nenjamE” indicating that his heart is involved with emperumAn more than he!

ALadhAgum nanmai enRu nanguNarndhadhu anRiyum – the verse should be rearranged as “adhanRiyum ALadhAgum nanmai enRu nanguNarndhu vaNangi vAzhththu” adding the last two words to get cogent meaning. The indication is that apart from the meaning of passing time purposefully, as mentioned earlier, “Carrying out servitude to him is our superior benefit; understand our basic nature and try to bow down to him and to praise him”. Just as sahasranAmAdhyAyam 5 says “thamEva chArchayan nithyam bhakthyA purusham avyayam l
dhyAyan sthuvan namasyamScha yajamAnas thamEva cha ll” (One who keeps worshipping only that supreme entity who has indestructible qualities, every day, by reciting his divine names with devotion, by meditating on him, by praising him and by bowing down to him (will get relieved from all hurdles)),

SAsthras say that bowing down to emperumAn and praising him are the means to attain him. Are you implying that this should be done as a means to attain emperumAn? AzhwAr responds through the last verse..

meeLvilAdha bOgam nalga vENdum mAla pAdhamE – worshipping and praising are carried out not as means to attain emperumAn. Only the divine feet of emperumAn, who is more eminent than all the rest, are the means to grant us the permanent enjoyment of kainkaryam, which will remain until the AthmA remains [for ever], just as it has been mentioned in chAndhOgya upanishath 8-15-1 “sa kalvEvam varthayan yAvadhAyusham brahmalOkamabhi sampathyathE l na cha punarAvarthathE l na cha punarAvarthathE ll (that mumukshu (one who has desire in attaining mOksham) lives like this until his life ends, and (once the life ends) attains mOksham. He does not return here). Your worshipping and praising are the benefits in themselves. The activities of worshipping and praising are part of the benefits which one gets even after attaining parama padham, just as it has been mentioned in mahAbhAratham Santhi parvam 344-45 “mukthAnAm lakshaNam hyEthath yachchvEtha dhvIpivAsinAm l
nithyAnjaliputA hrushtA nama ithyEva vAdhina: ll” (the symbol of SvEthadhvIpavAsis (those who live in SvEthadhvIpam) is also the symbol of mukthas. They will be constantly performing anjali (cupping the palms in salutation); (hence) they will be happy; they will have the characteristic of saying nama: (I belong to emperumAn) through their mouths constantly) and as said in bruhadhAraNyaka upanishath 4-3-6 “thasya haithasya purushasya rUpam yathA mAhArajanam vAsa:” (that divine form of supreme entity is like a golden dress). The indication is that AzhwAr tells his heart to do that here itself.

Next, we will take up the 113th pAsuram of this prabandham.

adiyEn krishNa rAmAnuja dhAsan

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